Ethical dilemma| Nursing homework help
Examples of ethical dilemmas: Confidentiality or. Reporting child abuse
One nurse in a clinic for children is well aware of the bruises that a young patient has on his body. These bruises are indicative of physical abuse. The nurse is also aware that the child’s parent has a history of substance abuse and has been involved in domestic violence. The nurse is torn between their obligation to maintain the child’s confidentiality and their duty to report suspected child abuse to the appropriate authorities.
The ethical principles outlined in the Belmont Report can help to resolve this ethical dilemma. Belmont Report outlines three ethics principles for human research, including respect of persons, beneficrimination and justice. In this situation, these principles could be applied as follows.
- Respect for Persons: This principle requires that the autonomy of the child be respected and that the child’s rights to privacy be protected. The nurse must consider the child’s right to confidentiality and take steps to ensure that their privacy is protected.
- The principle of beneficence requires the nurse to act in the child’s best interest and to take measures to protect the child. The nurse is required to inform the authorities of suspected abuse in this situation to protect the child.
- Justice: To ensure justice, the nurse should make sure that benefits and costs are distributed fairly and equitably. In this case, the nurse must consider the potential benefits and burdens of reporting suspected child abuse and make a decision that is fair and equitable for the child and the child’s family.
A thorough assessment of the child, their family and all relevant information, such as their medical histories, abuse reports and other pertinent data, could have prevented this ethical dilemma. The nurse could also have taken steps to educate the child’s parent about the consequences of child abuse and the importance of seeking help to overcome substance abuse and domestic violence.
The Belmont Report outlines ethical principles that healthcare professionals can use to guide them when faced with ethical dilemmas. These principles include respect for people, non-discrimination, and justice.
Belmont Report. (1979). The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects in Biomedical and Behavioral Research. https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/belmont-report/index.html
American Nurses Association (2015). The scope of nursing and the standards for practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
American Psychological Association (2017). Code of ethics and ethical principles for psychologists American Psychological Association.